In December of 1273 when Rumi died, representatives of every major religion came to his funeral. In the midst of the crusades and violent sectarian conflict he said, "I go into the Muslim mosque and the Jewish synagogue and the Christian church and I see one alter." And he made it clear in other places that someone who considers religion or nation an important human category is in danger of severing the heart from its ability to act compassionately. This is a radical idea now, but Rumi held that conviction in the 13th century with such deep gentleness that its truth was recognized. -- source: The Essential Rumi translations by Coleman Barks with John Moyne.
Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened. Don't open the door to the study and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase 'each other'
doesn't make any sense.
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don't go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want. Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open. Don't go back to sleep.
Drumsound rises on the air,
its throb, my heart.
A voice inside the beat says,
"I know you're tired,
but come. This is the way."
We are the mirror as well as the face in it.
We are tasting the taste this minute
of eternity. We are pain
and what cures pain, both. We are
the sweet cold water and the jar that pours.
Who makes these changes?
I shoot an arrow right.
It lands left.
I ride after a deer and find myself
chased by a hog.
I plot to get what I want
and end up in prison.
I dig pits to trap others
and fall in. I should be suspicious
of what I want.
On Resurrection Day your body testifies against you.
Your hand says, "I stole money."
Your lips, "I said meanness."
Your feet, "I went where I shouldn't."
Your genitals, "Me too."
They will make your praying sound hypocritical.
Let the body's doings speak openly now,
without your saying a word,
as a student's walking behind a teacher
says, "This one knows more clearly
than I the way."
and the Joy Inside
open a window
and look out
to see who's knocking.
-- All quotes are from The Essential Rumi translations by Coleman Barks with John Moyne